The first extendable socket ratchet we examined is manufactured by AmPro- it is capable of extending from 12 inches all the way out to 17.5 inches with six different locking positions.
- Buyers we spoke with say that it weighs around 2 pounds and is fairly durable for automotive work with some users saying they slammed it with a rubber mallet to loosen up bolts without any harmful repercussions.
- Another home car repair hobbyist told us that he purchased this extendable ratchet because his new lug nuts no longer worked with his spare tire wrench.
- Overall, he told us that its handle made tightening his car tires' lugnuts pretty easy to do, especially when not extended to its full length.
- Another reviewer chimed in and said that unlike cheaper Chinese knockoffs the ratchet's head and extension lock are machined well, allowing it to smoothly collapse and extend.
- If you require an extraordinary amount of torque, you may want to resort to a higher-powered option, but for most users the AmPro extendable ratchet works well- with users saying they've tested it up to 120 ft-lbs on sports utility vehicles.
The Stanley extendable ratchet set was the second we examined- it ships with eight 12 point sockets with a handle that extends to 14 inches and locks into five different lengths.
- Buyers were impressed by the inclusion of a socket rail, while some users did note that the quality overall wasn't exceptional with the ratchets being adequately built but the sockets' walls were too thin for some reviewers liking.
- As other buyers of extendable ratchets have told us, if you are prying a really rusted bolt, sometimes it's best to resort to a more powerful breaker bar- though for most automotive mechanic uses these telescoping ratchets are sufficient to the task.
- One hobbyist we interviewed told us at the ratchet set is fairly dynamic- shipping with a locking flex head, and true power when extending it to its maximum length of 14 inches.
- Another mechanic says that Stanley typically produces high-quality hand tools and this particular extendable ratchet set is no exception- indispensable for people who work on motorcycles, cars, and trucks and it also ships with a lifetime warranty.
- Indeed, this buyer follows up with us telling our staff that the sockets have extra teeth, enabling them to access tighter places you cannot easily see, providing just enough extra torque to get difficult jobs done.
The third extendable flex head ratchet set we looked at is manufactured by Steelman Pro. They advertise it as a dynamic option that ships with three different telescoping ratchets all of them treated by heat and built from chrome vanadium steel designed for rugged and extended durability and strength. In addition, they have been engineered with 120° flexing heads, enabling auto mechanics to dive into difficult to access nooks and crannies of their customers' vehicles. Also, they feature a built-in button that when pressed will quickly release sockets- meaning a struggle-free swap of socket heads as you work.
- Reviewers we spoke to said that the shaft is, in fact, notched with locking lengths as opposed to being notched for positive locks or pressure tension.
- One automotive mechanic told us that has a car repair expert a set of extendable ratchets is indispensable to his daily work- and he says he purchased this pair to complement his non-adjusting ratchet set and has been highly impressed by their strength and durability.
The fourth extendable ratchet we examined is manufactured by Neiko and is differentiated by its soft ergonomic handle. The manufacturers advertise this as a heavy duty option that is fully reversible, featuring quick release drive heads that are spring loaded for the locking sockets. The ratchet extends from 8 1/2 inches all the way to 12 3/8 inches. Buyers endorse this as a breaker bar, since its adjustability enables truly dynamic applications- letting you work on automobiles that have really cramped interiors.
- Buyers write of applying a tremendous amount of force to this ratchet and saying that it has broken rusted bolts loose and the ratchet has not suffered any ill effects.
- Indeed, the further the ratchets extended the greater amount of torque provided, functioning as a competent stand-in for breaker bars- its a must buy for any competent mechanic struggling with lug nuts that have been over tightened or rusted over.
The last option we examined was the Pittsburgh extendable ratchet- it can extend from 12 to 18 inches and features six different locking positions in able to accommodate up to 400 pounds of torque.
- One buyer complained that the end of the Pittsburgh's handle which is made from plastic broke- this means that it loses some of its extendable length, depriving this mechanic of needed torque.
- As other buyers have noted, once extended these extendable ratchets can oftentimes double for breaker bars in many automotive applications.
- Indeed, as we have seen, many reviewers are auto mechanics who prioritize purchasing collapsible ratchets to keep on hand to loosen lugnuts and work on oftentimes inaccessible and tight areas of cars.